UAE Desert Challenge: Series stage five notes

News from leg 5 -- Oasis stage finish Marc Coma wins the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2009....Pal-Anders Ullesvalseter pips Mark Ackerman (5th o/a) to the stage win.....Cyril Despres confirms second place. BIKES Marc Coma (2) -- "It's a great...

News from leg 5 -- Oasis stage finish

Marc Coma wins the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2009....Pal-Anders Ullesvalseter pips Mark Ackerman (5th o/a) to the stage win.....Cyril Despres confirms second place.

BIKES

Marc Coma (2) -- "It's a great feeling to take a second win of the season (Coma won the Dakar Rally in January) and to keep up that winning run. It means a lot to me and I want to keep working hard and improving. Today was very difficult. The first part of the stage was in a sand storm and you could not see the dunes or the track too well. The last section was faster, but there were some difficult sand spits to deal with. Because of the weather it was another road book today! I used the regulations to my advantage and now I have a third win here."

Cyril Despres (1) -- "It was not meant to be for me. The regulations were not in my favour and I still don't agree with that. Marc changed his start position and both factors worked against me. Still, it wasn't easy today."

Mark Ackerman (42) -- "I am very happy with the result and the performance on the stage today. It was not easy. We were getting bumped around all over the place by the wind. The storm took the top crust off the surface and it was very soft in places and difficult for all the riders. It was much harder than last year's Desert Challenge. Last year was more predictable, but the weather conditions made it difficult here this week."

Guerlain Chicherit and Tina Thorner of the BMW X-raid team clinch victory in the car category of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2009........

CARS

Guerlain Chicherit (201) - "Last week I was taking part in a World Cup competition in extreme skiing and this week I am winning a World Cup rally in the Middle East - all in the space of 10 days. From one extreme to the other!

"There was a sand storm today for around 50% of the stage and the wind meant that visibility was down to just metres in places. We stopped early in the stage to let some pressure out of the tyres and then ran with the Buggy (Glenn Reid) for about an hour. Then, I heard a noise on the car and stopped at the final PC just to check everything was okay. This is a great feeling to win this rally. Tina (Thorner) did a great job and the mechanics worked so hard to make sure the car was always ready for the stage every morning. This result is for my team."

Yayha Al Helai (202) - "Today we took it easy with no risks. I did not want to push. We could not catch the BMW so we wanted to make sure we finished second."

Ahmed Bin Soughat (212) - "There were some really big dunes and the sand was very soft for about 30km. The road book was okay, but I needed to be careful not to make a mistake."

QUAD

Sebastien Husseini (54) - "At the start of the week I had the goal of reaching the top 10. It was realistic and I am delighted to have achieved that. The road book was extra important today. Because of the weather some extra sand spits had formed overnight and it was important to keep your concentration. I had a good pace through the stage and that was important."

-credit: uaedesertchallenge.com

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About this article
Series Cross-Country Rally
Drivers Tina Thorner , Cyril Despres , Marc Coma , Guerlain Chicherit